Hardware Compatibility   Prerequisites   Downloads   Compiling   Voice Comms   FAQ   HowTo   Forums   Reviews   YouTube playlists about LAC   Online Training   Enhanced Art


This is a free, open-source combat flight simulator developed by AskMisterWizard.com for the LINUX community. Its roots came from the well-known "classic" flight game known as "GL-117", but this new incarnation has been extensively re-written and improved, and the focus has changed from arcade gaming to World War II combat flight simulation.

Current Released versions: 9.61.  Each version is also available as an "AppImage" containing a single, universal, compiled binary file ready for immediate use with no need to compile or install  (Learn more about AppImages from our forum HERE). It runs nicely on almost any kind of computer that can run any popular version of desktop Linux, ranging from Raspberry Pi through "Steam Deck" and on up to super gaming-class machines.

Page updated 06Jun2024

P38 and F4u head-onAir to air combat over the desert.

Cockpit with WW2-style instrument option activated

(Click the images to see a larger version)

Linux Air Combat on Valve Steam Deck.

LAC is now available in a special, precompiled, optimized version for Valve Corporation's fabulous "Steam Deck" portable gaming PC. All of the controls are configured by default for best use, and it's easy to fly in LAC's online, multi-player, server-based missions without ever needing a keyboard. Even voice comms among players are supported! CLICK HERE for more information.

LINUX AIR COMBAT is now officially released and available in stable, "production" quality, and official and semi-official LINUX Repositories are beginning to support it! Universal compiled binary versions are now available for unlimited testing! 

LINUX AIR COMBAT is also known as "LAC", and this is the home page for everything about LAC.

LAC is very efficiently coded for "speed at any price". We've been watching development of the very popular, very affordable "Raspberry Pi" computers. During the last few years these tiny little computers have become increasingly powerful and, since December of 2020, we have confirmed that the"Pi" has sufficient power to run LAC sweetly! CLICK HERE for more details.

CLICK HERE for a very brief YouTube clip showing a low pass over an airfield and through a hangar while the air raid siren blares.
CLICK HERE for a brief YouTube video with basic LAC flight training.
CLICK HERE for important YouTube instruction on selection of online targets.
CLICK HERE for a YouTube playlist with video tours of all 54 of the World War II aircraft simulated by Linux Air Combat.
CLICK HERE for a YouTube clip showing what it's like to fly online versus "Replay Blokes" when no other sentient players are active online.
CLICK HERE for a comprehensive YouTube tour of LAC's cockpit instruments.
CLICK HERE for our YouTube Playlist with exciting online combat samples from 2022 (latest clips at the end of the list).
CLICK HERE for our YouTube Playlist with exciting online combat samples from 2023 (latest clips at the end of the list).

LAC is now MATURE and ready for widespread LINUX distribution!

People have been asking to have this included in mainstream LINUX distributions and repositories. We're flattered to have that attention, and for almost 6 years we were asking for your patience as we got it ready for "prime time". We are very pleased to confirm that official development of stable, "production-quality" Linux Air Combat is completely FINISHED. We're DONE adding features, and the little bugs and tweaks of recent releases have been so tiny as to confirm LAC's mature status. All versions since November 15, 2019 remain mutually interoperable, and recent versions have proven to be very stable on a wide variety of LINUX distros.

CLICK HERE for a discussion in our forums about LAC in LINUX Repositories that ends with a list of Repositories already supporting it.

Accordingly it is now appropriate for LINUX users to ask their own distribution managers and packagers to include it. Then, if those people need help, refer them to the discussion HERE. They can also contact us by email (webmaster@AskMisterWizard.com) and we will be glad to assist. In the meantime, the best way to get LAC is to download it from the prominent link advertised at the top of this web page, or from SourceForge.net.
NEW SINCE AUG2022: Most new users will no longer find it necessary to compile LAC from source code. As of this writing we are now publishing compiled binary version 9.61 in the well-known, universally compatible "AppImage" format and we have seen widespread success and proven, full binary compatibility with the vast majority of Linux Distros for "x-86" hardware. With this new "AppImage" option, obtaining and testing Linux Air Combat is a simple matter of downloading one file, marking it as executable, and running it from a bash shell. No compiling and no installation! Learn more in our forums HERE.

Now available for free Internet download, this new, high-performance flight simulator is now "feature-complete", and supports all of the basics demanded by today's LINUX flight sim users, including:
Landed on runway
On the runway, ready for takeoff, after refuel, re-arm, and repair operations, near a friendly P38 and behind a B29.

Linux Air Combat is free software that we donate to the world. We are writing and supporting this stuff because we love to do so. However, there are limits on the amount of time we can spend on this project. You can help! LAC is advertising-supported. Our efforts are funded by the modest advertising revenue we receive from these LAC pages, related YouTube video clips, and from our web site AskMisterWizard.com. All we ask is that you give our online publications a chance. All are loaded with very high quality instructional videos about technology, flight simulation, and networking. Please be fair with our advertisers. We keep scripting to an absolute minimum, and we don't clutter up the site with excessive ads. If you see an ad that you don't like, please DON'T click on it. That will help our advertisers figure out the kinds of ads that please our viewers. On the other hand, if you see an ad that shows something of real interest to you, please consider exploring it in detail and giving the advertiser a fair, honest share of your attention. When you do that, everybody wins, and we can spend more time improving and supporting LINUX AIR COMBAT.  Thanks!

Two narrated YouTube Movies showing network players enjoying a "Server Mission" with the version of LAC that was current as of Jul2023. Lots of instructive radio banter, and lots of of air-to-air violence!

LAC is now the world's leading open-source combat flight simulator for LINUX!

Linux Air Combat V03.42 online screenshot   Airstrip overflight
Two screen shots. First, an online skirmish versus a Mitsubishi "Zero".  Second, an airstrip overflight, using external view. Click images to see a larger, more detailed version.
Default Flight Controls USB Game Controller  Keyboard LayoutMouse Pointer as LAC controller
Flight controls for LINUX AIR COMBAT. The default configuration is set up for a numeric keypad, standard keyboard, and the popular, inexpensive Logitech Extreme 3dPro joystick as illustrated above. It is possible to reconfigure for a different joystick, a USB console-style game controller, or to use a generic "mouse pointer" instead. Keyboard keys are also reconfigurable and/or interchangeable with joystick buttons. In general it is possible to assign almost any joystick button, controller button, axis, or keyboard key to any appropriate flight or view function. It is also easy to reconfigure a typical joystick "hat switch" to configure view directions, etc. Further instruction is available in video tutorials below, and from these links that are also available within the sim.

Linux Air Combat screenshot 1   Linux Air Combat screenshot 2 
 Screenshots showing LINUX AIR COMBAT in action

Free, multiplayer online access is now available, based on new Linux Air Combat official Release V9.61.

In December of 2015, AskMisterWizard.com announced availability of our new, free, open source flight simulator for LINUX,  now known as "LINUX AIR COMBAT".

The first published version was alpha test number 1.99. Since then, we've continued to add features, fix bugs, and enhance the flight models.  As of this writing, the current production version is 9.61 (for global installation in the /usr filesystem for all users), supporting 54 aircraft (download link below).  Version 9.61 is also available in precompiled, binary-only format, configured for (almost) universal compatibility by virtue of the well-known "AppImage" tools and format.

Click HERE to see the Linux Air Combat ChangeLog, with text and video summaries documenting all of the changes that have been implemented in each published version.

Most of our development work has been done on 64-bit versions of the well-known "PcLinuxOs", "Ubuntu", and "Manjaro" Linux distributions. Testing has confirmed that some of the resulting, conventionally compiled binaries are compatible with some other, popular LINUX distributions. However, this binary compatibility is dependent upon many factors including the version of compiler and the versions of required function libraries in use.

Click HERE for our discussion group focused on new versions of LAC that are available as precompiled executables formatted for near-universal compatibility with all popular desktop versions of LINUX according to the well-known "AppImage" format.

Full source code is available for download so that users of any LINUX distribution can easily compile it for their use (See the "Compiling" section below). If your LINUX system is substantially out of the mainstream you may find that none of our published binary versions will work for you. In that case, compiling from source code is generally the best way to ensure compatibility.

This sim is still fully supported by the development team, but all of the planned features are now in place. We are proud to declare that LAC now offers excellent hardware and software compatibility, an easy-to-learn standard control layout, good customizability, excellent frame rates, respectable and credible flight models, exciting multiplayer combat,  immersive multiplayer missions,  truly world-class multi-user player management with correspondingly powerful voice comms, and near-universal binary compatibility to minimize any need to compile from source code. This is the most compatible online combat flight simulator ever published. It works well on virtually any LINUX desktop system ranging from Raspberry Pi on up to monster gaming-class. The widest practical array of flight controllers are also supported, ranging from keyboard/mouse on up through USB "console-style" game controllers and traditional aircraft-oriented joysticks.

While we've been making all of these improvements, we've also developed a "Linux Air Combat Server" that is now available for free public use. In late June 2017, that server completed the first phase of beta testing, and a high performance hosting service now has it available at LacServer2.LinuxAirCombat.com.  Everybody with a recent copy of Linux Air Combat (since November of 2019) can now participate with us in any of our free, ten-player online missions. 

Prerequisites for running a compiled, binary version of LINUX AIR COMBAT

This flight simulator is distributed in both source code and binary executable formats for various LINUX distributions. (People that want to compile it will find additional help in the next section of this document.) For those that DON'T want to compile it, we offer three options:

1 of 3: Several popular desktop LINUX distros offer LAC in their Repositories. (CLICK HERE for more information).
2 of 3: A binary "AppImage" that works on most distros (CLICK HERE for more information). or:
3 of 3: Precompiled binary images bundled into our robust install kits that also include source code.

For compatibility with the precompiled binary versions according to option "3 of 3" above, LAC requires each of these well-known, popular LINUX libraries and tools, which are generally preinstalled in most major LINUX desktop distributions:
As of April 2018, some of those prerequisites are NOT pre-installed on Ubuntu desktop Linux, but it is very easy to obtain them using the well-known "apt-get" command.  For example, the commands to install three of those prerequisite libraries, issued into a bash command shell, are:

sudo apt-get install freeglut3
sudo apt-get install libsdl1.2debian
sudo apt-get install libsdl-mixer1.2

If LINUX is new to you, CLICK HERE to go to our YouTube playlist loaded with introductory information that can get you started.

Additional Prerequisites for compiling your own version from the LINUX AIR COMBAT source code

If you want to compile LAC, you will find that the well-organized source code makes this very easy, even for non-programmers. In addition to the prerequisites listed above, you will also need gcc (almost always present),  and all of these tools and libraries, which are generally NOT preinstalled in most major LINUX desktop distributions:
As of April 2018, some of those compiling prerequisites are NOT pre-installed on Ubuntu desktop Linux, but it is very easy to obtain them using the well-known "apt-get" command.  For example, the commands to install three of those prerequisite libraries, issued into a bash command shell, are:

sudo apt-get install freeglut3-dev
sudo apt-get install libsdl1.2-dev
sudo apt-get install libsdl-mixer1.2-dev

For those that want to compile LAC on Ubuntu desktop LINUX, we urge you to use the "CodeBlocks" method as described in our "Ubuntu and LAC" forum here:


Experienced LINUX users will recognize all of these as well-known LINUX components. However, the exact names of these tools can vary among different LINUX distributions, or even as distributions are updated. You will need to adapt the names of the libraries listed above according to the names in use on your LINUX variant.

For most of the popular LINUX desktop distributions, every one of these components will be freely available through the usual and customary means, using free package managers. If you have a good Internet connection, you should be able to get everything within 5 or 10 minutes and with just a few mouse clicks. For best compatibility with other members of our online community, you will want to make sure your libraries are up-to-date.  For a YouTube video showing how we obtained tools to compile a very similar project, CLICK HERE.

Compiling LAC should be easy. In our experience, it is NEVER necessary to change even a single line of the source code. The real trick is obtaining the correct prerequisite library files. (One source of potential confusion derives from the fact that SDL libraries are available in two distinct versions. We use the "classic" version 1.2. Nowadays all of the major LINUX desktop distros provide SDL libraries for both version 1.2 and for the newer version 2.0. LAC doesn't care if you have both versions, but the current, production version of LAC absolutely requires SDL version 1.2)  Furthermore, the standard, well-known, free software library tools that LAC uses are routinely updated from time to time. If you will be using our conventionally precompiled version on any compatible type of desktop LINUX, you may experience odd errors unless your LINUX is using the same version of the required libraries. Further details about compiling LAC can be found in FAQ #2 HERE.

Strafing a B29
Hardware Compatibility

LINUX AIR COMBAT hardware requirements are modest (it will even run nicely on the smallest, least expensive version of the well-known, extremely economical "Raspberry Pi Model 4b" and on the new "Raspberry Pi Model 400"). When using hardware that was originally intended for use with Microsoft "Windows", one gigabyte of RAM and an old Celeron or Pentium processor should suffice. Six levels of graphic detail are available from a prominent configuration menu. When configured to display in a small window with the simplest available graphics, almost any desktop or laptop PC built since about 2006 should be able to run it with acceptable frame rates on any of the popular LINUX distributions. Full-screen, high definition video using the higher graphical levels (levels 4 and 5) will require an accelerated graphic card of the type made popular by nVidia, Intel, or ATi, but you won't need a really expensive card. We've had great success with cards that cost U.S. $50.00 or less.

In order to enjoy LAC's features to the fullest, try to tune its graphic options so that it reports 59 or 60 Frames per second most of the time. For the best, smoothest performance, we recommend a version of LINUX using a lightweight desktop manager. LAC's demands are modest, but if your desktop manager is heavily burdened before LAC is even installed, there is nothing LAC can do to speed things up. When everything is optimized, the silky smooth "feel" of LAC is amazing and almost hypnotic!

LINUX AIR COMBAT is intended for joystick flight controls. Joystick axes, joystick buttons, and almost any keyboard key can be mapped to any of 45 different flight functions and 23 comms functions, so you will be able to set up your controls to your liking. A joystick (like the popular, inexpensive Logitech Extreme 3dPro) is HIGHLY recommended, but it is possible to control LINUX AIR COMBAT with just a keyboard and mouse, or to use a "Console Game Controller" connected via USB (wired or wireless).

New since 15Nov2019! Development is completed, and "production releases" of LINUX AIR COMBAT can be downloaded for free public use.

CLICK HERE for a new Youtube "PlayList" showing exactly how we downloaded, installed, configured, and optimized the latest, greatest, beta-test version of LAC in October of 2023, including integration into our desktop LINUX menus for single-click access, and even enhancing the standard installation with the optional, text-based "menu launcher" that is sometimes needed by people whose desktop LINUX distros don't properly respond to LAC's built-in menus.

Recent improvements result in greater program stability, better support for players lacking a joystick, improved visual perception of network jitter, better support for laptop-style keyboards, easy access to online documentation without exiting from LAC, more robust player management, more robust handling of aircraft damage in flight, penalties for online "fratricide", more realistic flight modeling, more lethal guns and ordnance, additional multi-player missions, and more powerful menu logic allowing easy cycling of RedTeam/BlueTeam affiliation without exiting from LAC, all while retaining operational compatibility with all of the previous production missions and releases. We also offer a new option to control LAC from an independent, text-based set of alternate menus executed through a bash shell. This overcomes odd incompatibilities with LAC's built-in menus experienced on a few LINUX distros.

For those that DON'T want source code and have no interest in compiling LAC, we now offer a binary version that has been precompiled for (almost) universal compatibility with popular desktop LINUX distros. CLICK HERE for related details.

CLICK HERE to go to our Beta-Test folder to download the latest, experimental versions.

CLICK HERE for new information from our forums about a few official or semi-official LINUX Repositories already supporting LAC for certain desktop LINUX distros. If your distro has a Repository offering LAC, you'll find this to be the easiest, simplest, best-supported installation method.

CLICK HERE  for the stable, compressed installation archive from our "SourceForge" distribution site. Check the detailed, descriptive text carefully to make sure you select the most appropriate version for your needs. Every full, robust download version contains:
After downloading any of our distribution archives, you will find a new "*.tar.gz" file in your designated download directory.

Decompress the tar.gz file to produce the associated .tar file. Then de-archive the tar file according to well-established LINUX norms. You can store the resulting, new directory tree structure anywhere you want it within your home filesystem (so long as you can remember where you put it). Once you've de-archived the tar and tar.gz archives, it's OK to delete them.

Also note that several configuration files must be installed in specific filesystem locations before the compiled, executable program will run without errors. The first time you execute LAC, it will attempt to store and access all of those files appropriately. 

CLICK HERE to enter our "Compiling and Installing LAC" forum, where users publish helpful instructions, comments, and video clips documenting their successes.

If you install LAC from one of our "Full Kit" install archives, within the top-level de-archived folder, you should find an executable shell script named "install.sh", which automates the install process the easy way. You are ready to run that shell script after you compile the sourcecode  or otherwise obtain the appropriate executable version of LAC.

Running that shell script from a command window like /bin/bash will copy all of the required files into the appropriate locations and configure the appropriate binary executable program to run on your computer.  CLICK HERE for more background on downloading, compiling, installing, and configuring LAC on a wide variety of LINUX distros.
Also within that top-level de-archived folder, you should find full source code and an associated ".cbp" file to configure the free, well-known "CodeBlocks" Integrated Development Environment, making it easy for you to compile and/or modify your own version of this software. (Alternatively, if you don't want to use CodeBlocks, you can use our "Makefile" to compile Linux Air Combat according to the usual and customary norms. This method is not compatible with as many LINUX systems as the "CodeBlocks" method due to minor differences among c++ compilers.)

Compiling from Source Code

Linux Air Combat is FAR EASIER to compile and modify than any comparable flight simulator. The source code is exceptionally well organized for easy compilation on almost any PC running a desktop version of Linux.

CLICK HERE for our easy, detailed compilation instructions and video examples for beginners.
CLICK HERE for additional compiling resources.

Online Play and the Linux Air Combat Community

The community of flight simulator fanatics is small among desktop LINUX Users. At the time of this writing, only a few people know about Linux Air Combat's new online server. We generally gather online on Thursday evenings, from about 6PM until 8:00 or 9:00 PM Central USA time, but the server is up constantly, and you might find players anytime. Please help us pass the word. Invite your friends to join you online as we build up this community from its tiny state. At first, everybody will have trouble finding others with whom we can fly. This will only succeed if we all bring friends into the emerging new "LAC Community". Recent online activity and improvements have focused on "Network Battle 02", "Network Battle 03"  and on "Peabody's Mission" in Realm "1". You are more likely to find other players in those missions than in any of the others, and they are usually populated by a new set of "Replay Blokes" (managed by the LAC Server) even when no other human players are active.  If you are the only online player in most of the other online missions, LAC will populate the mission with "bot" players (generated on your own computer) to serve as your allies and as your opposition. Although those bots aren't very smart,  you can use them for target practice and to hone your tactical skills until some more online players join your mission.

How to enjoy LAC's online missions when you are the only online human player.

Ready for takeoff
Lockheed P38L "Lightning" ready for Takeoff!

F4u Corsair selected for flight
Aircraft selection is done from a prominent menu. Each option summarizes the attributes of one of LAC's 54 flyable planes.

Voice Communication with other LAC players

For your convenience communicating with others in the LAC Community, AskMisterWizard.com sponsors a Mumble server, so you will
benefit greatly from the free, well-known "Mumble" Internet voice client application. Good Mumble clients are available for many popular operating systems including LINUX, Apple/IOS, Android, MacOS, and Windows. Install it on your PC, Macintosh, Windows machine, phone, or tablet. Use Mumble to find other online players, to arrange online missions with them, to communicate with other LAC users during flight, or just to chat about LAC with other users or developers. Because LAC is new and the server is now supporting only a small community of users, you will naturally want to know if anybody else is flying, and the realms and missions in use. Our Mumble Server is your "home base" for these activities. You and your friends can connect to our Mumble server at LinuxAirCombat.com at any time. Configure your Mumble server connection with a simple username that is unique to yourself. We use Mumble's standard Public Key Infrastructure to authenticate users the easy way, so you won't need a password. Our server has dedicated channels for general discussion of LAC, for technical support, and for each of our online missions and their teams.

Furthermore, if you install Mumble on the same LINUX machine hosting LAC, you get some additional benefit: LAC will fully integrate your local copy of Mumble into your LAC keyboard controls and cockpit, and it will automatically switch Mumble into the best of our channels for your selected realm, mission, and team! You can find help on this and other topics in our "Beginner Topics" forum HERE. Pay particular attention to the posting about "Editing LAC's Configuration File".


The standard, downloadable LAC distribution is tuned for a typical LINUX desktop PC. If your PC is more powerful than the average, you can download enhanced graphic models of the airstrip and aircraft for improved visual appearance. On the other hand, if your PC is less powerful, you can download simplified graphic models to help increase your framerate for smoother flight. Either way, you will want to CLICK HERE to learn about the options.

New! The Linux Air Combat Video HowTo!

We are building a comprehensive series of short, highly focused YouTube video clips to help you download, install, configure, and enjoy Linux Air Combat. Most of these video clips are less than 5 minutes in length, and many are less than two minutes long, because each covers just a single topic. Organized as a YouTube "playlist", you can quickly scan the many separate titles to focus in on a specific problem or area of interest. We are adding titles to this playlist frequently, so if you don't see what you need right now you might find it later. Please use YouTube comments associated with each clip to ask or answer related questions for the LAC community. This advertising-supported effort helps to fund our development, so we appreciate your participation and support.

CLICK HERE to go directly to the Linux Air Combat Video HowTo on YouTube

Frequently Asked Questions

CLICK HERE to go directly to the Linux Air Combat FAQ page


CLICK HERE to go directly to the Linux Air Combat Forums, where you can ask questions and read a great many tips and links to additional resources.

Screen shots from recent missions:

Low-level air-to-air combat in the desert terrain. The target, heavily damaged and trailing thick clouds of black smoke, is desparately trying to flee from the stream of machine-gun bullets emerging from the player's guns. The player has configured LAC to display Mumble's application frame to the right of the main display window.

Low-level combat versus a Lockheed P38 "Lightning" in an island mission. This player has configured LAC for full-screen view, so Mumble's application frame cannot be seen. This player relies on LAC's sophisticated "Mumble Panel" to inform him of channels in use, transmission and reception activity, and the names of any players that are speaking.

Head-on view of Lockheed P38 Lightning.
Another external view of P38..
External, "head-on" views of Lockheed's P38 "Lightning".